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Monday, November 06, 2006

Campaign 'turf' from Europe

If you need a reminder of how closely Europeans follow the U.S. elections, the Press received 71 faxes over the weekend from letter writers - complete with home addresses and phone numbers. They all carried the same message: keep Congress out of the Democrats' hands to show continued support for the Bush administration. The majority came from France (21), Germany (16), the United Kingdom (13) and Ireland (11), with others from the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Italy.

I've been screening letters at the Press for nine years and have never seen so many letters from abroad. I wouldn't be surprised with e-mails, given how easy they are to transmit, but faxes? Editorial boards throughout the nation are sensitive to letter campaigns such as these, so often using the same format and wording and even the same e-mail address. We call them "turf,'' as they are artificial, not genuine, commentaries. For that reason, these letters from our new European friends won't see the light of day. But did they really expect that we would publish them?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a thought about turf letters. There's a Christian group that sends me informative emails about what is going on in the world. Maybe a car company or a departments store is flagrantly supporting a cause, or trying to strip that which was once acceptable from its sales ads, making holy things extremely secular.

Sometimes this Christian group emails me about an atrocity that I did not know about. Because they took the time to email this info to me, and provide this overworked time-constrainted person with a means to email my Congressman, I will do so, and change the wording to express my thoughts. To know that people in the paper business may dismiss the words because of a similar format, or a same email makes me sad. My efforts to a newsperson are not taken seriously, then?

2:19 PM, November 07, 2006  

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